Stoke boss Mark Hughes looking forward to Blackburn tie

Tuesday 27 Jan 2015
Mark Hughes won The FA Cup four times as a player

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is eagerly anticipating a return to his former club after the Potters booked a trip to Blackburn Rovers in The FA Cup Fifth Round.

City avoided an upset, unlike many of their Premier League counterparts at the weekend, but had to produce a resilient display to down Rochdale 4-1 at Spotland.

The former Wales boss admitted that he used the weekend’s results as incentive during his pre-match talk and was delighted not to slip to a similar fate.

Rochdale 1-4 Stoke City

The FA Cup
Fourth Round Proper
Monday 26 January
Winning club will receive £90,000 from FA Prize Fund

Hughes spent six years at Ewood Park in two spells as a player and manager respectively, but having tasted FA Cup glory four times during his playing career, he now has his sights set on ousting his former club.

Hughes said: “We look forward to Blackburn. The overall aim was simply to get through this round. That had to be our focus.

“Obviously we were aware of the draw prior to kick-off but we had to get on with it.

“We’ll look forward to the game and to taking a huge following to Blackburn. Hopefully we can then progress further in the competition.”

He continued: “We wanted to come here and make headlines for the right reasons.

“At the weekend a lot of Premier League teams fell by the wayside and we weren’t going to allow that to happen to us.”

If results from the weekend had been playing on City minds heading into this tie then the mercurial Bojan provided the perfect tonic by smashing home the opener after just four minutes.

Stephen Ireland and Victor Moses added two more after the break, and although Rhys Bennett slotted in a deserved consolation for the home team, Jon Walters sealed the win.

Meanwhile, Rochdale manager Keith Hill was far from downhearted about the result.

He said: “It was a difficult ask to create a Cup upset. But I’m pleased with the players and I hope that the level of performance does continue.

“If it does then we’ll have a very successful end to the season. It’s been a superb experience.

“We competed tonight without having to change our style and it has worked in our favour, even if the result hasn’t.”